Saturday, 5 September 2015

Gnu's on Blog: Aylan Kurdi #refugeeswelcome; Labour Party Leadership; Jersey Boys;Frankie Valli;Subway Sect Gig Updates;Big Gold Dream Screenings;Iconic Foreign Language Films,Can,Elton John,Count Five,Kinks,Jock Scot & Nectarine No 9,Port Sulphur,Bossa Nova,Books, Paul D Brazil, Derek Philpott,Harper Lee, AA Milne and more......,,


These two beautiful boys WERE Aylan Kurdi, three years old and his five year old brother Galip, together with their father and mother Rihan  they fled the terror in Syria, travelling hundreds of miles hoping to find refuge and respite from the horrors of war. 

Three of them didn't make it. Their overcrowded boat left a beach on the Bodrum peninsula last Wednesday, bound for Kos, a mere two miles away, however the boat capsized soon after leaving. Aylan was found washed back on to a Bodrum beach like a piece of flotsam. I hope this photograph haunts us all and acts as a reminder of what happens when we lose our humanity.

Please lobby your MP to take action now:

As Per, it's People leading the way #refugeeswelcome
If you are on FB in the UK join this group to find out how you can help with the refugee crisis locally:
Thanks for the info 'Jane Barnes'.

for Jeremy Corbyn to be the next leader of the Labour Party (Andy Burnham 2nd, Yvette Cooper 3rd and Mrs Thatcher's ghost, sorry, Liz Kendall 4th) because of his  experience; his willingness to raise issues of public concern that others have devolved responsibility for to the private sector, yet still subsidise from the public purse - the NHS, Education, Transport, etc; his understanding that neither people fleeing from war zones nor economic migrants are the problem, it's the state of their countries together with the totally ineffective response to the hellish situations that this country helped to create; his willingness to go against the current seemingly global zeitgeist that 'Any and All Economies' can only thrive if we cave in and accept the terms that global corporations and multi-billionaires lay down for us for having the 'privilege' of them investing and doing business with us, ie no tax payable on their profits, limitless amounts of cash transferred in with impunity, funny how it's never money laundering when a non-dom does it. I have a sneaking suspicion Mr Blair secretly backs Mr Corbyn as he's kept putting his oar in and every time he has there's been a spike in support for Mr Corbyn. Mr Blair can't have forgotten what most of us think about invading Iraq in 2003, of the 219,000 dead to date including combatants plus the subsequent global fall out (see above).
PS Mr Corbyn won with a record breaking 59% in the first round! 

Looking for Psychotic Reaction by Count Five I came across this play list which starts with it, has some totally spaced/rocked out speedy Kinks' songs.

It's been a really weird, though quite pleasurable, experience getting emails from the candidates and their supporters, seeing all these MPs and politicians names filling the inbox. My particular favourite is from John Prescott, which although it started with 'Hello Comrade' it then rather disappointingly turned in to a plea for Master Burnham.......and yet, curiously, Mr Prescott proposed Mr Corbyn.


10 Stonking Subway Sect shows coming up over the next three months
Poster design by Andy Wood
Two new November dates confirmed!
26th November Manchester - Dandy Presents at Gullivers with Teesside's legendary Pellethead, they're building quite a history playing with Vic and Subway Sect! (see above)
Tickets £8.50 (+ plus 50p booking fee):

15th November Dundee - Vic delighted to be back playing at Beat Generator Live! with Very Special Guests STOOR
Tickets are £8.00 (+ booking fee) from Groucho’s, Dundee and online from
Look out for updates here:

Subway Sect L-R - Kevin Younger, Ian Holford & Mark Braby by 'Jane Barnes' 2015

It all kicks off at Fibber Magees Dublin next week! Then 03/10 Trash'd Cannes Punky Monkey,Hastings, 16/10 Miss Peapod Falmouth, Sounds in the Suburbs Sect/SOBs in Glasgow 13/11 & Edinburgh 14/11, 15/11 Beat Generator Live! Dundee, 26/11 Dandy Presents at Gullivers Manchester, 27/11 Children of Godard Presents at The Cumberland Newcastle, 28/11 Bernie Connors Birthday The Shipping Forecast Liverpool (tickets available from Probe Records 12/11, in person only, I think it's going to be a memorable birthday!) and the finale 5th December - The Vinyl Frontier Bah Humbug Xmas Special at Under Ground Theatre Eastbourne. All details and ticket info here:   and in video below.

STOP PRESS...........Grant McPhee's Sound of Young Scotland film Big Gold Dream hits the festivals!
I think an apt subtitle for this fascinating and enlightening film would be 'how the sound of Young Scotland begat the post punk sound of Young UK', you'll know what I mean once you've seen it (info on premiere at EIFF in blog before last).

10th/12th September Cambridge Film Festival
18th September Dunoon Film Festival
2nd October Doc'N Roll Film Festival London
2nd/4th October Raindance London
3rd October Trash'd New Wave Festival Hastings (Vic,Sect & TV Smith also on the menu, among other things)
9th October Southside Film Festival Glasgow
Keep an eye out for the exclusive promo videos for each screening, this is the one for Raindance:

Big Gold Dream - Human League Split from grant mcphee on Vimeo.

14th September Forever Heavenly Presents An Evening with Jock Scot at The Social 5 Little Portland St London W1W 7JD

Jock Scot in conversation with Robert Rubbish and live performance with Davy Henderson and Nectarine No 9/The Sexual Objects.

PS Some lovely photographs of a memorable night by Peter Tainsh:

In September's Leither magazine Davy Henderson (A Trash Icon)......

Latest ear worm Fast Boys and Factory Girls Port Sulphur. A little bird told me that Vic and Davy Henderson may be collaborating on a song with Port Sulphur!!

Go and see the Jersey Boys musical if you're a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fan, or even if you're not. I'm not a fan of the formulaic musical and the only reason I went to Jersey Boys was Vic has been wanting to see it for ages and I got tickets for his birthday treat. This is NOT formulaic, you forget just how brilliant the construction of Bob Gaudio's melodies are, as Vic says "no flabbiness there" and the songs are very cleverly used to accompany the story. Infectiously entertaining, hugely talented cast and musicians and special mention for Michael Watson and the extraordinary range, clarity and purity of his voice and it looks effortless. As a general rule I don't do audience participation (only unwillingly - aged six, picked out by spotlight in room full of holidaymakers.....the compere wouldn't move on until I sang the chorus of La Bamba, scarred for life) however I'll admit I was out of my seat and dancing* at the end of Jersey Boys and left the theatre on a natural high.   

A word of caution - it would not be fair to compare them to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons!
My personal favourite - Beggin'                                                                                                 

* The only other musical show I've been to that got me up and dancing was Lady Salsa

I was listening to Marc Riley ( ) and this track came on, I hadn't heard it before and didn't hear who it was. I was blown away, particularly by the drumming, thought it was a drummer plus a drum machine and thought it was contemporary!! So it turns out I do like prog rock! 


Go Set A Watchman Harper Lee
I imagine like many for whom Atticus Finch has been an icon of integrity and heroism since childhood (Gregory Peck didn't help) I was reluctant to read this book, who needs another illusion shattered. However I serendipitously happened upon this reading of Go Set A Watchman
and am so pleased I did because this book provides a new insight and the missing link to To Kill A Mockingbird and in fact makes you appreciate even more Harper Lee's skill in producing this masterpiece of narration, and after you read (or listen to) Go Set A Watchman you realise she is revealing that even when it is the adult Jean Louise talking in To Kill A Mockingbird she is still thinking as the child at the time of telling and unflinchingly brings home that if you stick someone on a very high pedestal you are doing both of you a  disservice and doomed to disillusion and disappointment until you accept the inescapable, we're all human and fallible. And then, hopefully, you grow up.

 Two publications to look forward to in 2016 from Paul D Brazil, author of Guns Of Brixton  (Caffeine Nights Publishing). Mr Brazil has gathered his short stories in to a moreishly noir collection in 'The Last Laugh, and Other Shots Of Noir' published by All Due Respect Books and  'Cold London Blues', also published by Caffeine Nights, a lyrically inspired tale of darkness!

Confession Corner -  "My name is the gnu and I am an Elton John fan" (1973/4)
I admit I owned Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Château, Madman Across The Water, Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (my friend Annette and I learned to jive to Crocodile Rock). Buying Goodbye Yellow Brick Road LP made me realise I had reached the end of my Elton John road and total abstention was the only recourse. My only lapse since then is B B B Bennie and The Jets.

 If Derek Philpott's book of letters to pop stars 'Dear Mr Kershaw' and their replies, hasn't come up on your radar yet, then now is the time. It's been a stentorian effort by all concerned getting this fascinating and funny gem of a book in to print, you will be amazed at the roll call of contributors. Read about the book and  pre-order from Plane Groovy here:
A Very Special Mention for Jean Philpott and her pop star (and other) pottery masterpieces.  Philpottery -
First Review!

Me and Vic by Alan Horne 1990s - Not sure what we were mesmerised by,Vic thinks it's a cat.

A Selection of Some Of My Favourite Iconic Foreign Language Films
The following are ten of my favourite foreign language films, they are also some of my favourite films ever. After Diva they are in no particular order of popularity:

1. Diva (1981) Directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix 
Starring Frederic Andrei, Richard Bohringer & Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez (the 'Diva')and many more. The serpentine plot leads to a warm friendship between Jules (Frederic Andre, mobilette riding postal delivery boy) and the reclusive diva Cynthia Hawkins. Stunning,stylised  cinematography by Philipe Rousselot)
The Chase Scene:
The whole Russian! 

2.. The Lacemaker (1977) Directed by Claude Garetta and starring the hauntingly beautiful Isabelle Huppert*. A Tragedy in Shakespearean terms.

3. La Antena (2007) Directed by Esteban Sapir and featuring Valeria Bertucceli, Alejandro Urdapiletta, Julieta Cardinal, Rafael Ferro and Florencia Raggi. A very clever film, beautifully shot in black and white and whilst paying homage to the silent-era it's concerns are definitely 21st century. In La Antena a city struck dumb struggles to overcome its oppressor, the tyrannical capitalist, Mr TV.
The whole film!

4. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) an autobiographical 1987 film written, produced and directed by Louis Malle  set at a boys' boarding school in France 1943-44. Heartwrenching.
5. Two Women (La Ciociara) (1960) Directed by Vittorio De Sica and starring Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Eleonora Brown, Carlo Ninchi. The film was adapted by De Sica and Cesare Zavattini from the novel of the same name written by Alberto Moravia. The story is fictional, but based on actual events during what the Italians called Marocchinate, a term applied to women who were victims of the mass rape and killings committed during World War II after the Battle of Monte Cassino. Unlike any other Sophia Loren film you may have seen, harrowing.

6. Solaris (1972) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and starring , , , based on the book by Stanislaus Lem.The film is often compared to 2001 A Space Odyssey, erroneously in my opinion, I find 2001 tediously boring and despite several attempts I have not yet managed to stay awake through  the whole of it, despite several attempts. Tarkovsky's film on the other hand is a brilliant and original science-fiction epic that challenges our perceptions and conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself.
This is the whole film with subtitles. 
PS The George Clooney remake doesn't even come close.

7. The Tin Drum - Die Blechtrommel (1979) is an adaptation of the book by Günter Grass, directed and co-written by Volker Schlöndorff and starring , , as the Matzeraths. The film is set in Danzig in the 1920s/30s and is the surreal and darkly humourous story of Oskar M, who, at the age of three decides not to grow up in protest at the events occurring around him as the Second World War looms. Trailer below.

8. Cinema Paradiso (1988) Directed by  Giuseppe Tornatore and starring , Antonella Attili and Salvatore Cascio,Marco Leonardi and Jacques Perrin as Salvatore Di Vita at different ages. Captivating and enchanting, telling the story of how a film maker's life long love affair with film began at his local village cinema and of the lasting friendship forged with the cinema's projectionist. No subtitles in this version, I think there are some films that you don't notice that you can't understand the language.

9. Les Diaboliques (1955) Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Simone SignoretVéra Clouzot and  Paul Meurisse. Based on the book 'Celle Qui N'était Plus (She Who Was No More) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Gives Mr Hitchcock a run for his money.

10.  The Red Balloon (1956) Written and Directed by Albert Lamorisse, cinematography Edmond Séchan and music by Maurice Leroux. One young french boy's adventures with an errant red balloon on the streets of Paris. Thirty minutes of pure joy.

I could have gone for The Enigma of Caspar Hauser, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Cant, Aguirre Wrath of God, Les Quatre Cents Coups, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Jules et Jim, Nosferatu, La Dolce Vita, Das Boot, Savage Nights, Le Grand Meaulnes, Les Enfants Terrbible, The Damned or any number of others including Loulou (1980), directed by Maurice Pialat and starring Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu, before he metamorphosed into an ogre, had a bit of a crush on him after seeing this, hard to believe now.

 When I was very young my introduction to poetry came from A.A. Milne (1882-1956) and his two volumes of children's poetry When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. 

One of my favourite poems still is:

Disobedience by A A Milne

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."
James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,

  James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/O his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:

Autumn's in the air.
AUTUMN 2004 -Ergon Ani
I'll leave you with the aria from La Wally, sung by Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez in Diva, what all the to do is about.

POST SCRIPT - A few late additions:

Delighted that Pete Polanyk has featured some of my garden photos in his blog 'Weeds Up To Me Knees' and also includes Vic's garden related song selection 'And Roses And Roses' by Astrid Gilberto.
New Releases, etc:

 Band of Holy Joy 'The Land of Holy Joy' - release 21st September 2015, taster and available to preorder here:
Louder Than War review 9/10: 

Live dates:

Goings on at Stereogram Recordings

Released 31st August Lola in Slacks debut single 'Tramlines'. Louder Than War interview and review:

New Download Single by The Cathode Ray 'This Force Of Nature', from their highly acclaimed 'nfinite Variety' album. It will also exclusively feature DJ Tony McQue's remix of "Resist" as a bonus track. 

To coincide with the release on the 14th September.The Cathode Ray will be joining Band of Holy Joy here:
19th September Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough 
20th September  Admiral Bar, Glasgow 
21st September The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh 

 Out Next Month! 
 The new release from our old muckers The Bitter Springs 'Cuttlefish & Love's Remains' is out on Monday 19th October 2015 ... Si's been hard at it, 14 tracks on the CD version and 15 on the download. There is a special launch show at The Beveree Stadium Hampton on Saturday 17th October where your £10 admittance fee includes a copy of 'Cuttlefish and Love's Remains'. 

Really, really done now, honest guv and leaving you with a bubbling under ear worm, this song by Vic's friends The Embassy is growing on me ( I think I blame Port Sulphur!) 'The Pointer', listen out for the Sex Pistols line!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Gert's Let Loose: VG Round UP, Jeremy Corbyn, VicLeka Ozone Belgrade, Summer Frippery, Reviewing Singles 1982 Melody Maker,MR James, Jock Scot, Big Gold Dream, Winchester, Trains, Heath Robinson, Lots of Lughole Nourishment, The Doors, Imagination, Todd Rundgren Gigs, Videos, Photographs,


Make your voice heard in the growing clamour for justice.
In all seriousness, I lost faith in what passed for Labour leadership and policies years ago, 2003 was the year the last nail was hammered in to the coffin of Labour integrity as far as I was concerned and along with many others felt disillusioned and fell into a state of apathy, seeing little difference between the devil and the deep blue sea. THEN Mr Corbyn stepped forward and is showing us that there really is another way to do things, it's achievable and lots of us are being shaken out our inertia and realising, that for once we actually can make change happen. It is such such a rare event that it has prompted me to take a leap of belief and register as a Labour supporter in order to personally add my voice to the 'CLAMOUR FOR CORBYN'.

PS  I would just like to make it absolutely clear to any Labour conspiracy numbnuts theorists that I  am NOT part of any Tory conspiracy to bring down the Labour Party or revolutionary Marxist conspiracy to overthrow democracy.

Perhaps it's the two full moons effect but I'm now feeling decidedly skittish. The result? This eclectic smörgåsbord of summer frippery, dive in and share the vibe.

Had a Wissie day out in Winchester

Saxton's 1575 map of Hampshire -

 For what is really a quite small market town in Hampshire Winchester is positively crammed  with things to do and see and if anyone is planning a visit anywhere near this very pretty part of the UK then I can highly recommend it as a destination ( or if you're in London or planning a visit to London, this is an easily doable day out, accessible by car and there is parking, however not that much, or by train (I travelled by train*). Lots of medieval architecture, a mill, still working, Medieval Jewish Trail, Winchester Cathedral, Keats Trail, Jane Austen Trail, Tudor Trail, Cricket Trail, and Viaduct Way.

  And a lot of museums including Westgate Museum, The Great Hall, which contains King Arthur's Round Table and lots of many and various military museums including the Gurkha Museum. A variety of places to eat to suit most, we ate at The Wykeham Arms, very nice indeed. We shared two Mezze boards between three - houmous, marinated peppers, salads, lightly dusted and fried courgette pieces, plenty of home made bread and a fragrant glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Highly, highly recommend.

 * I'm a big fan of our extensive railway network and those that keep it going and so would like to say that my train journey to Winchester went smoothly, it didn't, however the fault was mostly Network Rail's. I set off with plenty of time to spare to catch the 11.12am from Clapham Junction, day return ticket bought (not via London, which means Waterloo), first leg (one stop) went without incident, the next to Clapham Juction should have been a doddle, first train to arrive, which I got, only stopped at Putney then Clapham Junction however, and this is the bit  I have to say mea culpa for, it was still quite early, only had a couple of coffees and I wasn't paying attention. I snapped to as I became aware that we were pulling out of Clapham Junction. No worries, I thought, plenty of time still, I'll just get off at the next stop, Vauxhall, and get a train back, which  is when it started to go a bit haywire. By the time I reached Vauxhall (2 mins) there'd been a points failure somewhere and all trains going back were delayed by at least 20 minutes or cancelled! The only option was to go onwards to Waterloo, big up to SW Trains, they accepted  my ticket without quibble because of the delays, so no excess fare to pay. With all hope of catching my Clapham connection to Winchester gone, I resigned myself to being late. On arrival at Waterloo had a stroke of luck, the next Winchester train was departing in 5 minutes from the next platform. Safely ensconced in a packed carriage, it being both the Weymouth and Exeter trains until the first stop, Basingstoke, where the Exeter bound would be leaving us. Had to laugh (to myself) when we unexpectedly pulled in to Clapham 11.12am!!!  May have been a circuitous, Heath Robinson journey but arrived in Winchester only 10 minutes late.

William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) is best known for his humourous drawings and cartoons of ludicrously complicated contraptions,  constructed to achieve simple tasks, that are neither practical or effective.

You can get your hands on a copy of Railway Ribaldry from Abe Books.


 Gigs Update: Delighted to announce another couple of dates added to the growing list of Subway Sect Autumn/Winter gigs, Eastbourne Christmas Special and Trash'd Hastings with TV Smith and so pleased that Grant McPhee's acclaimed Sound of Young Scotland film Big Gold Dream will be screened at the gig with Grant coming for the Q&A, more info to follow. Not long to go until Fibber Magees Dublin, Vic's first gig in Ireland, taken him a while! They are all 'Specials' with fantastic line ups including The Dubtones, The Gakk, Audible Joes, Everett True, Lost Dawn, POST, The Sexual Objects, POST, El Cid, The Floormen, Rongo Rongo, Brasshaus, Pellethead,The Wolfhounds.......

September 11th - Fibber Magees Dublin
October 3rd - Trash'd The Brass Monkey Hastings
October 16th - Miss Peapods Penryn Falmouth
November 13th - The Admiral Glasgow
November 14th - Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh
November 26th - .........Shh, secret squirrel.
November 27th - The Cumberland Newcastle
November 28th - The Shipping Forecast Liverpool 
December 5th - The Underground Theatre Eastbourne (Christmas gig!)

Another first, Vic's never played in Cornwall before so looking forward to the trip West in October.
Full info will be added here as available:  
and here:

'Ello 'Ello 

Something For Your Lugholes

Chill out and zone in on nine minutes  of psychedelic 'Summertime' - 

While Tom Ravenscroft stood in for Marc Riley he played Vic and the Sect's '20 Flight Rock', recorded at their last Marc Riley session December 2014.  

6 Music Live hour presented by Chris Hawkins includes Sect Marc Riley session form 2009 -

1996 Vic Godard session for Mark Radcliffe with Simon Rivers, Neil Palmer, Paul 'Wiz' Baker, Edwyn Collins and james Dutton

Loving Joe Mckechnie's Blind Eye Sees All DJ mix, stonking selection -  
Just because I like it, Georgie Fame'Sitting In The Park'
If like Vic you prefer the original by Billy Stewart -

Blow your ears' minds with The Dave and Lee Travesty show:

Port Sulphur 'Fast Boys & Factory Girls' -

Heavenly release the wonderful Jock Scot's My Personal Culloden. About time too! 

'Won't Turn Back'  duet with Vic and Edwyn - superb and seamless mix courtesy of Murray Ramone.

Band of Holy Joy 'Isn't That Just The Life' new download single and video out 10th August on Stereogram Records.

The Best Rock and Roll Songs About Rock and Roll with Gideon Coe BBC 6 Music:

Keep your eyes and ears open for The Rehearsal, already played a few gigs.

What? You Want More? 
How about The Cathode Ray's Jeremy Thoms' "Top Ten Post Punk 45s" for Louder Than War? A very fine selection in deed including The Monochrome Set, Orange Juice, The Associates, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Vic...... and 'Bubbling Under' - Josef K, the Fire Engines, the Scars..... there are a couple of choices that are not my cup of demitasse so not listing any more!

"VicLeka" - A.M. Leka & Vic Godard

Interview in Blic:

Vic got a wonderful welcome in Belgrade and had a very enjoyable and very busy time on his visit to Serbia for the opening of 'Vicleka, at Ozone Belgrade, seeing Leka again, meeting Aleksandra and making lots of other new friends. Vic's hoping to return next year with the group to do a gig.

Photograph's left and below by Aleksandra.

In Leka's studio with Mrs T! by Aleksandra Kekovic Mladenovich
  Gnu's compiled two blog pages about Vic and Leka's history and their collaborations, culminating in the Vicleka Exhibition at OZONE Belgrade in July and includes photographs, interviews, articles, translations(!) and a couple to add, videos and more. As an introduction before you dive in to the pages the video below is 'VicLeka The Movie', soundtrack 'Empty Shell', originally released on What's The Matter Boy and now re-released on Live & Rare Vol 3.


Vicleka Part 1 - The History

Vicleka Part 2 - The Exhibition in Belgrade


Vic Godard Live & Rare Vol 3 'Vicleka'

Some very beautiful photographs of 'Vicleka' by the painter and photographer Milan Kralj on his website 'Gallery Shots' or The Unofficial Chronicle of the Gallery Scene in Belgrade. 

Vicleka OZONE Belgrade by Aleksandra

The video you can just about see playing in the background in the photo on the left is Vic singing with the Sexual Objects, you can just make out Douglas MacIntyre on the left and filmed either by Tracey Holloway or Lee McFadden however I couldn't tell you what song they're doing or which gig it's from, although you can see if you can find it in Lee and Tracey's Vic/SOBS playlist!

And talking of Lee and Tracey, this is for them-

And talking of the Sexual Objects....... it's Sounds in the Suburbs Sect/SOBS time in November! 


And Children of Godard Time in Newcastle and Bernie Connors Birthday in Liverpool.

All poster designs by The Talented Mr A. P. Shaw.

RIP Jon The Postman

Throwback Time
July 1982 - Vic & the gnu dissect the week's singles, no holds barred*,  and in which Vic makes Jason Williamson sound diplomatic!

I think this is one of the very few that isn't totally panned by either Vic or the gnu or both!

 *Until very recently I didn't know that 'no holds barred' was a wrestling term, in fact I always thought it was no 'holes' barred, never actually thought about where it came from or under what circumstances holes might be barred!

Haven't resorted to hocus pocus in a while so to brush up I'm going to try and 'cast the rune', in a manner of speaking, over the internet ether. This ear worm the size of a conger eel being the rune, embedded in the brain for over a week now, not that I don't love it, however it's time to move on. Apologies in advance if you're not a Todd Rundgren fan.  (I have the feeling it's also sticking because I'm green with envy, I want that part of Daryl Hall's house.) Play as loud as you can.

Ref: Casting The Runes by Montague Rhodes James, like all Mr James' ghost stories it's very scary, this is the original trailer for a BBC adaptation 1968:
You'll find all his stories here:,Date&sortorder=desc
and this is a reading of the whole of Casting The Runes

I'm off, sleep well. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Gnu AND Gert Reporting on Sleaford Mods/Music Machine/Koko;Jock Scot;Brighton Love Fest,Debut of The Stool Pigeons, Sound of Young Scotland film 'Big Gold Dream',VICLEKA, Live & Rare Vol 3,Vic Stymies Costa,loads of vids & pics; Recommendations, The Clangers, The Avengers and more!

                                                       BEES ARE BACK.......IT'S SUMMER !

No preamble and no politics this time (well only a smidge) although there may be some confusion with both of us on the blog. Without further ado..........

A Tale of Three Cities
Been very lucky this year with gigs (see previous blogs), and the last three live events of the summer (unless something enticing turns up!) have not disappointed, memorable experiences in their own very different ways.

   Subway Sect with Special Guest Simon Rivers. KOKO 5th June 2015 by Kim Rivers

 The actual gig part of the Sleaford Mods gig at Koko was a bit of an existential experience, being on the merch stand in the foyer during the show so just about heard the sets though only saw snatches. Great to have The Bitter Springs' Simon Rivers joining Vic, Kevin Younger, Mark Braby and Ian Holford. Vic loved the drum and bass sound of the SMs, thought it was one of the best live performances he's seen in a long time.

Without a doubt the highlight of the gig for me was the unexpected pleasure of seeing the very wonderful Jock Scot, photograph with Vic by Tracey Holloway. Below is Jock with 'Above The Volcano' filmed by Tracey.

Jock introducing Vic and the Sect's opening number 'Born To Be A Rebel', filmed by Tracey H, edited by Lee M.

I can't quite put my finger on why the night reminded me of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Last Action Hero (1993), perhaps because the Sleaford Mods seem larger than life and I admit I was a bit awe struck by them.............who knows.

You get to see the theatre in all it's gaudy glory when it's empty, particularly good view standing looking out from the stage. The very sturdy looking steel crash barriers in front of the quite high stage did make me wonder exactly what kind of crowd they were expecting for the SMs! The Camden Theatre/Camden Palace/The Music machine/Koko has an interesting history, opened by Ellen Terry in 1900:

The next VG & SS outing was a chilled out night of unadulterated enjoyment at the seaside for a Spinningchilli Gigs night of aural delights and general all round love fest with Asbo Derek and The Unreliable Witnesses at the Green Door Store in Brighton.
Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Asbo Derek & The Unreliable Witnesses Spinningchilli Night Green Door Store Brighton by Phil G
Phil and Shelley always put on a good show however this was pure pleasure from arrival to departure, lovely promoters, lovely groups, lovely music, lovely people, can't ask for more.

The Unreliable Witnesses are simply brilliant, Grant Bale, Miss de Meaner and Barry Stir (any resemblance to Lee McFadden, Marina Young and Cos Chapman is purely coincidental!!) treated us to their unique interpretations of some classic songs including. 'Aquarius', one of my favs of the night, however I also loved the UR's closing number, The Return Of The Los Palmas 7, timing is everything! Both videos filmed by  Tracey H.

"They only cover the lyrics which are recited (not sung) by Grant Bale - whilst Miss de Meaner and Barry Stir improvise the music. Mr Bale does not know which music they will play - Miss de meaner and Mr Stir will not know which lyrics will be read. In short - they don't rehearse. They aim only to ever play songs once - even if they play a song in soundcheck - that song will not make it to the main set." Lee McFadden

Find out who The Unreliable Witnesses really are (or not!) and where they are playing next:

Asbo Derek & The Enigma of Subo Boyle The first performance of the Asbo Derek classic following the news that Eric Pickles is to receive a knighthood, featuring the incomparable Subo on vocals, filmed by Tracey H.

Asbo Derek beguiled and taunted us with their sardonic wit and charm, treating us to some new songs including what I'm sure will become a new AD classic 'Bryan Ferry's Ball Bag' (hint of Mark E Smith in the vocal!) video courtesy of Steve Clements.

 A dead dreamy set by the Sect, Ian Holford, Kevin Younger and Mark Braby including 'The Water Was Bad', filmed by Lee, who also deserves a special mention for doing the sound check with all three groups!

Great review of the night by Joe Giacomelli with photographs from Guy Christie:
 and another(!) with more photographs courtesy of Steve Worrall at Retro Man Blog :

Thanks to Lee and Tracey Holloway for the videos, more from the 5th and 13th June here: 
and thanks to Phil G for the photographs, more from the night here:   /media_set?set=a.888594604547179.1073741852.100001899443736&type=3

and more upcoming goodies from Spinningchilli gigs:

PS Stopped off at Pease Pottage Services on the way would think buying a coffee would be easy...............the only outlet open was a Costa, manned solely by one man (a very patient man).........Vic approaches the counter and conversation goes as follows:
Vic: 'Can I have a small cappuchino please?'
Costa Man: 'This size (points to the smallest takeaway cup)?'
Vic: Yes, in one of those (points to small china cup)'
Costa Man: 'I am sorry it is only available in this (points to smallest takeaway cup)'
Vic: Ok, can I have it in one of those then (points to china espresso cup)?'
Gnu audibly sighs
Costa Man: 'No, I'm very sorry, you can only have it in a takeaway cup'
Vic: 'i won't have a coffee then, I'll have a cup of tea please, that size (points to medium sized china cup)
Costa Man (wearily, queue growing): I am very sorry but only takeaway cups are available, I am on my own.
At this point the gnu couldn't bear the poor man's trial by ordeal any longer and was compelled to intervene, explaining to Vic that whatever he chooses it will be in a take away cup, no matter how many china cups he can see, he can't have one, no he can't, because the Costa Man is on his own and can't leave the counter to collect dirty cups. 
Vic: 'Ah, I see, I'll have a tea then please in a small takeaway cup'
Costa Man, looking relieved: 'Thank you and I am very sorry sir, any other time when I am not on my own you can have any cup you want.'
You could not hope to come across a more polite and patient employee, anywhere, however taking in to account he was the only employee, in the only open outlet at these motorway services and at around midnight, his calm demeanour was exemplary!
M23 J11 West Sussex

PPS Forgot to mention a fairly important part of this story and what started it all .............the man in front of Vic in the queue said 'Can I get a latte?' and you know what he desperately wanted the Costa man to say!


And why is the village of Pease Pottage called Pease Pottage you may wonder? Moot point, however considered unlikely to be anything to do with the  eponymous Tudor dish, apparently more likely to do with the muddy texture of the land thereabouts (in other words nobody knows). More info here:
and should you fancy having a go at making Pease Pottage you can find the receipt here:

Gnu went to sleep with a silly smile still on her face.

Vic and the Sect are back in September kicking off the Autumn/Winter dates in Dublin on the 11th, then there is Falmouth, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool and a Marc Riley session. Brilliant poster designs by Andrew Paul Shaw. All details and ticket links here:

A Big Gold Dream!

Due North Next for something very special, still bathing in the reflected limelight of another love fest. Always get a buzz being back in Scotland, the warm glow starts to permeate after Berwick upon Tweed and this was no exception. A memorable few days in Edinburgh, another of my favourite cities for the premiere of the much anticipated Sound of Young Scotland film 'Big Gold Dream', directed by Grant McPhee. It began with a warm EIFF welcome (we were met at the station and a car and driver put at our disposal if/when we wanted it, though as our hotel (Apex Grassmarket), The Filmhouse and the Traverse Theatre are only ten minutes walk apart we didn't indulge! Huge thanks to Diane at EIFF and Innes Reekie for inviting us to be a part of this very special occasion and to Sandra and Harriet for looking after us so well, I have never experienced anything so extraordinarily well run.

Grant McPhee's film has a star studded roll call of characters, to name drop a few:  Bob Last and Hilary Morrison (Fast Product), Davy Henderson (Win, Nectarine No 9, The Fire Engines,The Sexual Objects), Robert King (The Scars, Opium Kitchen), Paul Reekie, Campbell Owens (Aztec Camera), Ken McKlusky (Bluebells), Malcolm Ross (Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and Josef K), Douglas MacIntyre (The Sexual Objects,The Leopards, Creeping Bent),Russell Burn (The Fire Engines, Opium Kitchen), Tam Dean Burn, Fay Fife (The Rezillos), Jo Callis (The Rezillos & Human League) and many more (including Vic!). There is fascinating, rare & unseen footage and photographs of Paul Reekie, Edwyn Collins, Orange Juice, Win, Paul Quinn and  Alan Horne (Postcard and who looks so young!) to name just a few. Although centred around the post punk music explosion in Edinburgh, Big Gold Dream expands in to far wider territory and shows the far reaching influence Scotland's musicians, songwriters, groups and independent record companies had on the entire UK post punk music scene and beyond, in fact not sure it would have happened without them. Add to this wry humour, touches of pathos and a real insight into the machinations and manipulations that went on behind the scenes and their not always happy outcomes and you have an an entertaining and enlightening film. Congratulations to Grant McPhee, Erik Sandberg, Innes Reekie and everyone else involved. If you need any more convincing that you need to see this film Neil Cooper's article in The Quietus should do it::

More about the film:

Vic and Malcolm Ross in conversation with Lewis Porteous in The Skinny:

STOP PRESS: Big Gold Dream part of 'Best in Fest'.............this means another chance to see the film on Sunday 28th June at Cineworld Edinburgh for the bargain price of £5!

Definitely one of those occasions when some will say, wish I had been there or, I was there and I'm glad I can say I was there to witness an electrifying set from The Stool Pigeons, a line up and a half with Mick Slaven, Douglas McIntyre, Russell Burn, Vic and Malcolm Ross and they were a revelation. I'm sure we are going to see more of them!

The Stool Pigeons sound check for BGD after show. 'Sweet Jane' (left) featuring Fay Fife and 'Be My Wife' with pretty amazing Mick Slaven guitar solo (below). Filmed by gnu so the usual avant garde filming techniques applied.

Ambition (below BMW) filmed professionally(!) at the show.        

                   AMBITION - Stool Pigeons . BGD Aftershow from grant mcphee on Vimeo.
Stool Pigeons - Vic Godard, Malcolm Ross, Mick Slaven, Douglas Macintyre and Russell Burn
Big Gold Dream aftershow - 19/06/2015. Filmed by Simon, Jonny and Lucas.

Two more from the after show sound check, The Stool Pigeons cover The Fire Engines 'Candyskin' and Josef K's 'It's Kinda Funny', both filmed  by the gnu.

    All in all a fab, unforgettable few days, lovely place, lovely music and lovely people. 

PS Vic met Bob Last for the first time at the after show, the man he says bears the onerous burden of opening the door wide enough to let the indie landfill in.   

    Heading Home -
 Stunning views on East Coast line.

Political Bit The only point of the trip that didn't reach the prevailing high was the poor standard of service experienced on the Virgin East Coast train line, how they got awarded the franchise I don't know. On the way up the train looked like it had been hurriedly cobbled together from the train scrap yard, bits of the interior finishings missing, no fold down tables so if you wanted to eat or drink you had to hold it, precarious at the best of times, a health and safety hazard when the train's suspension leaves a lot to be desired, as this one did. We were advised that the train was being leased, surely not a good excuse for treating passengers in this way and WHY do they need to rent a train, didn't anyone check they had the rolling stock before awarding the contract? Silly me, of course not, I forgot that's not how it works. Perhaps they are waiting on an order for some of the cramped carriages they use on their west coast line, the least comfortable service I've travelled on. The staff do not come across as happy campers and £1.60 for a small bottle of water, taking the p or what? GNER won the east coast line franchise when the trains were privatised in the 1990's and ran it very well, there was a real, proper dining car (two sittings) and travelling on the service was almost a zen like experience. Then, then in 2006 the powers that be took the franchise away from  GNER, not because they weren't providing an exemplary service with high customer satisfaction but because they were not projected to make 'enough' profit in the future. The franchise was given to the coach company National Express, who made such an utter hash of it that the line was re-nationalised (sort of) until Virgin took over this year, I don't  imagine customer opinion had a lot to do with the decision. I wonder how many tens/hundreds of millions would have been saved if GNER had been allowed to keep the franchise (or it had never been privatised in the first place!!)?

It's nearly VicLeka time! 

 "VicLeka" an exhibition of art works with words by Vic Godard (London) & images by A.M.Leka (Beograd). The exhibition opens in Belgrade on 10th July at Ozone Art Space, Uzun Mirkova 10 and Vic will be there with Leka!

".........Leka uses print-making to develop an interaction   between word and image, song and vision, but this time in an  
exhibition that is also a testament to a friendship that has been
forged through music and which is referenced in the merged names of the title, VicLeka. At the heart of the project is a sturdy, black box that serves as the repository for a limited edition of hand-made prints.  Each box contains a unique VicLeka set of prints that is composed of two parts: on the one hand, there are the printed facsimiles of Vic Godard’s original songs and on the other, the printed images that a particular song inspired Leka to produce."
Kate Grandjouan (extract from VICLEKA catalogue)

For more information on how this this artistic collaboration between the two came about:
A selection of 'Jane Barnes' videos of Vic and the Sect from their Oxford gig (22/05/2015) will be shown at the exhibition in Belgrade including this stonking Nobody's Scared with Kev, Mark and Ian: 

You can also read about the exhibition here (although you do need to understand Serbian!):

 To celebrate and coincide with the exhibition  GNU inc are releasing Live & Rare Vol 3, a collection of live and rare studio recordings of the 12 songs featured in VICLEKA, dating from 1978 to 2014. The CD is in production, master went off yesterday, due for delivery next week and on schedule for release on 10th July.  The first 100 will be signed and numbered. 
Two teasers, Back In The Community and Zero Tolerance

There is only one air line that flies direct from the UK to Belgrade, Wizzair, three outbound flights a week from Luton, all arrive after midnight and three back. The only air line I've come across where the price is the same for one or two people to travel, so cheap for two but quite expensive for one when compared to the cost of flying to other European destinations nearby and they do have a somewhat eccentric cabin bag policy.   

Talking of Serbia........  
  ' Belgrade' - A new book of street photography by John Bolloten.     Following the acclaim for and popularity of 'Bradford Streets' (only 10 copies left of the 2nd edition!) John Bolloten is treating us to another collection of evocative street's eye view photographs of  of life on a city's streets. ' Belgrade' was shot over one week in the Serbian capital. There is only going to be one edition of 60, each copy individually number stamped and the first 30 copies will include a free 7” x 5” print, an absolute bargain at £7 plus p+p. Ordered mine!

A New Kevin Pearce Book!

Following the success and consummate achievement of his epic tome 'A Moment Worth Waiting For', which focused on the early 80's, Kevin Pearce takes us on another insightful musical journey through the 60's and 70's with 'You Know My Name: The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Bobby Scott'. You may not have come across the name before ( I hadn't) but if you've listened to jazz, soul, pop, folk, blues or Brazilian music from the 1960s/70s then you will almost certainly have heard the songs or piano playing of Bobby Scott, including ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ and  ‘A Taste of Honey’, and you may even have heard him singing, below is a beautiful version of ATOH sung by him (until the yucky bit at the end). 
You can buy Mr Pearce's ebook here:

And a bit of the Mel Tormé's about his voice in 'On The Street Where You Live'                                                                                                                                                                                     

     Mock cherries before the pigeons get them and deposit the purple waste on the car!

 Delighted to hear about the latest developments on the 'Dear Mr Kershaw' front, there is to be a publicly available edition of Derek Philpott's book of 'Letters to Pop Stars and Their Replies ' thanks to small independent label Plane Groovy who are publishing it. Order your copy here:
On the left you will find the fruits of Jean Philpott's Philpottery labours for the colour section of the book including Cheetah Gabriel, Amy Winemouse, Rick Hakeman, Nik Krowshaw, Moose Dickinson, Catfish Sensible, Jarvis Cockerel, Johnny Rotten-weiler, Zebra Harry, David Joey, Bobcat Marley and Ian Pandason.  There may still be a few of these one off pottery pieces still  available to buy although all of the above are sold.

The Clangers
Glad the makers of the new Clangers are sticking with original formula though Michael Palin doesn't do it for me the way Oliver Postgate did. Episode 1 from the original series with the mellifluous tones of Mr Postgate below. More original episodes can be found here: and this is a short snatch of the new series:
New episodes on BBC iplayer:


RIP Patrick MacNee. The Avengers was a seminal sixties series, then became a pastiche of itself in later incarnations. I particularly liked the Emma Peel era and in fact wanted to be Emma Peel when I grew up!
 Nature Corner
                                                        Planes can be beautiful!
Do you know your trees?


All for now bar the tweaking!